“With a click of the button, someone could order a custom-cut, flat-packed home online, and construct it by hand with the help of their friends and neighbors in a matter of days,” states Kate Schwennsen, professor and director of the School of Architecture at Clemson University. Students at the school have created a construction method that could significantly ease the building of low-tech sustainable housing.
Comprising an interlocking tab-and-slot connection system, the sim[PLY] Framing System is “intuitive and easy”, according to the press release. The buildings “come together much like a 3D puzzle” without nails. Instead, connections are fastened using steel zip ties and screws. That means disassembly is just as easy.
The system uses locally-sourced plywood that has been CNC fabricated. All construction plans are digital and can be used by any CNC router.
Larry Sass @ MIT has been doing this for at least 10 years.
Not to belittle the concept, because I think it's great, but "created" might be an overstatement.
I am one of the faculty involved with this project, and I just stumbled across this post.
In response to some of the comments...
The design team is familiar with and knowledgeable of the earlier work by Botha and Sass, WikiHouse, Facit Homes, and others. The work at Clemson is one part of the larger conversation on CNC-fabrication and light framing. Some of the many unique aspects in our system (from connection geometries and details, to sequencing, etc.) are described in the various presentations we give on the project, and in forthcoming academic articles/papers. Related work by other parties is acknowledged there as well. (so stay tuned)
The photo in the post shows an entire class of students at work on one of the prototypes. In reality, all construction could easily be performed by a crew of 2 to 3 individuals.
Finally, comparisons to conventional light wood framing (and its economy) are understandable and important. Systems like the one described in this post should be considered over their entire life-cycle, as they offer distinct efficiencies in onsite construction plus longer-term advantages in thermal performance, etc. (again, stay tuned for other articles)